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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Pioneering programme to support older people in Cheshire East is launched

 

A new programme designed to make Cheshire East a better place to live and grow old has been launched.

Ageing Well aims to give Cheshire East’s older people a strong voice on issues which affect their lives, and help them to retain their independence and ensure they have the same opportunities as anyone else.

The area has the fastest-growing ageing population in the North West and currently has more than 140,000 people who are aged 50 and over. By 2033, it is projected that this will increase to 186,000 people.

With this in mind, Cheshire East wants older people to have more choice and control and to receive the help they need. The Council also wants to ensure they are valued and respected within their communities and it believes the Ageing Well programme will help to achieve this.

Councillor Roland Domleo, Cabinet member with responsibility for adult services, said: “We recognise that older people who live in Cheshire East contribute a great deal of talent, experience and knowledge to our communities.

“We have heard stories about many over 50s who are leading richly rewarding and full lives, helping in the voluntary sector, schools and supporting statutory organisations to deliver services such as home safety checks.

“Many older people are also actively involved in activities within their local communities and there are numerous organisations that are run by and for people over 50.

“The vision for our programme involves making Cheshire East a good place to grow old. It has become increasingly clear to us that the group of people most likely to make this vision a reality are older people themselves.

“By 2033 more than 45 per cent of our population will be over 50. Ageing Well aims to ensure that services are planned in such a way that they continue to meet the needs of the local population.

“This programme will bring together local people, communities and organisations to make those plans and to ensure that they become a reality.”

Ageing Well kicked off with a grand launch at Legends, in Crewe, on Thursday (January 26), where the aims of the programme were outlined.

There were lively speeches by the Council’s Chief Executive Erika Wenzel, DWP State Pensions director Charlie Massey and the Fifty Plus Network – a group operating in Cheshire which aims to give people of 50 years and over a voice on the things that matter to them.

People heard how the Council and its partners, including the Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust (CECPCT) and Age UK Cheshire, are looking to maximise opportunities for older people to: prepare for the later stages of life; maintain their quality of life; and have access to services if required.

Ken Clemens, chief executive of Age UK Cheshire, said: “Cheshire East, in common with all other areas of the UK, is going to have to adapt itself to the potential of its ageing population.

“The Ageing Well Programme gives us a tremendous opportunity to do this by ensuring we are working across all sectors so that we are able to empower older people to age in good health and to contribute more actively in our local communities.”

For more information, visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/ageingwell

Last chance to have your say on home improvements loans

 

There is still time to have your say on what financial assistance should be available from Cheshire East Council for people to improve their homes.

If you are an owner-occupier, a landlord or someone in your household has a disability, you may be eligible for financial assistance to carry out repairs, improvements and adaptations to your property.

Cheshire East Council is consulting on the revised assistance policy. This is taking into account experiences of using the interim policy that has been in place since 2009, as well as information from the House Condition Survey carried out in 2010, and the removal of private sector renewal funding from central Government in their Comprehensive Spending Review in November 2010.  

The draft Private Sector Housing Financial Assistance Policy sets out the different types of loans and grants that we will offer with home repairs and adaptations.

The proposals include:

· Loans of up to £10,000 for urgent home repairs and heating for older people and people on a low income;

· Loans of up to £10,000 for owners of empty homes to help bring them back into use;

· Help for disabled people to adapt their home;

· Assistance for accredited landlords.

To assist us to make sure we get the policy correct, we would like to hear your views.

The consultation began last December and runs until February 24.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “This policy will provide much-needed money and assistance for Cheshire East residents to help improve properties across the Borough. I would urge as many people as possible to engage in this consultation to help us shape this important document.”

You can complete the questionnaire online via the ‘Have Your Say’ section of the Council’s home webpage at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk .

If you prefer to make written representations, print off and complete a form from the link:

http://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/housing/private_sector_housing/financial_assistance.aspx

This form should be returned to the Council’s private sector housing team at:

Strategic Housing, Cheshire East Council, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach, Cheshire CW11 1HZ.

Alternatively, you can contact the team by phone on 0300 123 5017.

Twin famers celebrate 60 royal years

 

Identical twin farmers Tom and Harold Bickerton share something in common with the Queen – they have all enjoyed the same job for 60 years.

The Queen will celebrate her Diamond Jubilee this June, and this will provide an opportunity for the brothers to reminisce about the Queen’s Coronation, as well as their own foray into farming.

Today the pair, both 90, still ride tractors around the farm as well as feed the cattle, starting their day at dawn.

Harold said: “After carrying out the same job for 60 years or more, you know the job inside and out.

“I’d say the Queen has seen staff come and go and knows all the pitfalls of the role - just as we do in farming.”

The brothers remember they were working on their farm, Sunnyside Dairy Farm, in Leighton, Crewe when the Queen was crowned.

The brothers will be among many senior citizens across Cheshire East who, over the extended bank holiday between June 2 and 5, will remember living through 60 years of the Queen’s reign.

Cheshire East Council is setting the scene for a ‘summer of fun’ after the newly-formed Cheshire Community Foundation received a donation from the Duke of Westminster’s charitable fund, the Westminster Foundation, which will be distributed to Cheshire East communities on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “There are many memories to share, which is why we’re helping communities to celebrate this royal occasion.

“To help create a party atmosphere and bring people together, we are dedicating funding of £100 per community group on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We would encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of this funding and throw a street party or use their local park or playing fields to host an event.

“Community groups should contact the council as soon as possible if they would like to take advantage of this funding, which has been kindly donated by the Duke of Westminster.”

To apply for the £100 funding, community groups should log on to: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/jubilee and click on the event notification/funding form. The deadline to apply for funding and road closures is Monday, April 9. Alternatively, contact Jane Kavanagh on 01270 685854

Buckingham Palace is encouraging communities to take part in ‘The Big Jubilee Lunch’ which is all about community, friendship and fun and offers ideas on what to do and how to make it a day to remember. For more information log on to: www.thebiglunch.com

Stay Warm, Stay Well, Stay Safe – homelessness

 

Throughout the winter, Cheshire East Council and its partner agencies in the Adult Safeguarding Board have been providing information and key contact numbers as part of its Stay Warm, Stay Well, Stay Safe campaign. This is intended to assist, reassure and empower its most vulnerable people by providing information at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/winter and through the local media.

To witness somebody sleeping on the streets is a heartbreaking sight.

And for those who are homeless it can be a frightening, disempowering and debilitating experience, especially during the winter months.

Those who find themselves in this situation are much more likely to be victims of crime and other kinds of abuse, both from homeless peers and members of the public who recognise their vulnerability.

Cheshire East Council, and its partners in all sectors, recognises the risks to the health, wellbeing and safety of this important minority and works hard to keep as many people off the streets and in warm, comfortable accommodation as it can.

Its housing options team is on hand to assess all cases to try to offer suitable accommodation for anyone deemed to be a homeless person.

This is particularly important during cold spells – when the weather is predicted to be zero degrees or below for three consecutive nights, the Council has a duty to ensure that accommodation is available to those who need it.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “It is always extremely regrettable to see anybody suffering hardship of this kind and unable to find themselves a home.

“With this in mind, I would urge anyone who has seen someone sleeping rough in Cheshire East to contact our housing options team without delay.

“If a person is threatened with homelessness or is homeless tonight then a housing options advisor will carry out an assessment to determine what duty, if any, they are owed under the Housing Act.”

Generally, homeless people are those who have nowhere to stay or will have nowhere to stay within the next 28 days. People also considered homeless might:

· Have no accommodation in this country or anywhere in the world to occupy;

· Have the right to live in a property but cannot gain access;

· Live in movable accommodation, like a boat or a caravan, but with nowhere permanent to moor or park;

· Have accommodation but due to some exceptional circumstances it would be unreasonable to continue to occupy this;

· Live separately from someone with whom they would normally reside, because there is nowhere they can live together; or

· Have a home, but fear violence from someone.

Further evidence of an applicant’s specific circumstances or a visit to current accommodation may be required.

Derek Thomas, the independent chair of the Adult Safeguarding Board, added: “Homelessness exists in various forms and arises for various reasons. Arguably, it is those who are unfortunate enough to be sleeping rough, both young and old who face the greatest threats to their physical and emotional health and safety.

“The cold weather and extra hours of darkness bring with them additional risks and this in turn requires extra vigilance and support from concerned citizens and our public services.

“This winter campaign provides an important opportunity for the media to help to communicate directly with one of the most vulnerable groups in our society.”

Cheshire East Council’s housing options team is available on 0300 123 5017 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Those who find themselves with no accommodation outside of these hours should call 0300 123 5025.

For more information, visit www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/housing

Mp,s 109th news bulletin

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Edward Timpson MP

Monday 30, January 2012

Welcome ...

Welcome to this my 109th news bulletin.

At my street surgery this weekend a number of hard working constituents raised concerns about the amount of benefits they are having to pay for through their taxes.

I fully agree that it is vital that we implement a cap on the amount people can receive in benefit, if our welfare system is to be fair to both those in need of help and taxpayers who ultimately pay for this safety net.

The Government has set the cap at £26,000 which is the equivalent take home pay of someone earning £35,000 per year after tax. This is more than generous particularly when you consider that there are many hard working household across the country that are able to live on such an income.

It would also be unfair for households to receive a greater income from out of work benefits than the average weekly wage for working households. The most vulnerable have already been made exempt from the cap, including those with disabilities and war widows. Those in work who are doing the right thing, and people in receipt of Working Tax Credits will also be excluded from the cap.

I should also point out that just because the cap has been set at £26,000 that does not mean that everyone will be able to claim that amount. People will still be assessed and will be given the appropriate level of support relative to their needs. Furthermore, the Government will continue with plans to get people who can work, off incapacity and sickness benefits and back into the employment. Welfare cannot be a lifestyle choice and the Government is clear that if you can work then you should work.

Please remember, you can always contact me directly if you have any questions for me.

You can forward the bulletin on to your friends and family, who can sign up themselves by clicking here for my website.

Best wishes 

Edward Timpson
Member of Parliament for Crewe & Nantwich

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I have recently ...

  • Spent Thursday and Friday working at Leighton Hospital, mucking in with staff at all levels and experiencing their day-to-day jobs, including laundry, kitchen, porters, A&E, bed managing and security. I will be returning for two more days in February. Look out for my diary detailing my experience in the Chronicle newspaper.
  • Met with the public health Minister on behalf of a local constituent to discuss how to move forward the testing of new born babies for Strep B.
  • Met with the Chief Executive of the charity Catch 22 to exchange ideas on improving then life chances of disadvantaged children and young adults. 
  • Attended the launch in Parliament of the Action for Children Annual Review of Child Neglect.
  • Held an On Your Street session in Nantwich town centre, bringing my surgery to your doorstep.

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Westminster Report

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Read my most recent Westminster Report

Click here or on the image

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Photos & Video ...

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Edward opening the new Tesco Extra store in Crewe

You can view all my photos and video at edwardtimpsonmp.com

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Community News

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Support the Looking After the Homeless Group

The LATH Group (Looking After The Homeless) aims to ease the plight of the homeless in the Crewe area, with the long term aim of eliminating it altogether. The organisation is in dire need of donations, to help ease the lives of those that are homeless & many of whom are sleeping rough in these cold winter months.
To make a donation please click here - Please forward this link to your friends, your families & your colleagues, add the link to your Facebook & Twitter pages to help our cause and spread the word.
Your money will be used to feed, create warmth, clothe, and help shelter those who need it this winter.
Do you have community news to share? Email me and it could be here too!

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Grand opening of Crewe's Tesco Extra attracts scores of shoppers

Crewe Chronicle

HUNDREDS of shoppers descended on Crewe’s Tesco Extra store as it opened its doors for the first time on Monday.

The 64,000sq ft superstore, based on Vernon Way, replaces a smaller store on the same site and celebrated its grand opening by making a £1,000 donation to Crewe and Nantwich Gymnastics Club.

MP Edward Timpson and Crewe mayor Cllr Roy Cartlidge were guests of honour and helped store manager Natalie Salt cut the ribbon to declare the store officially open for business.

Eager shoppers who were keen to get their first look at the store were also treated to complimentary champagne, cake and orange juice.

Store manager Natalie Salt said: “It was great to see so many members of the local Crewe community joining in the celebrations with us.

“We really hope that as a store we will become a key part of the local community.”

Senior coach at Crewe and Nantwich Gymnastics Club Candy Lakin accepted a giant cheque from Natalie on behalf of the club. She said: “The club would like to thank Tesco for this generous donation. As a club we are always trying to raise money and are very grateful for donations such as this.

“Our roof currently needs repairing and the equipment we use for our gymnasts is very specialist and expensive, this donation will help to fix the roof and provide the latest equipment needed to aid our gymnast’s progress.”

The new store, which benefits from extended opening hours, offers customers a new phone shop, Tesco Direct desk and family café serving Costa coffee. In addition, the store has an extended food and counter range including an olive bar, fresh meat and fish counter as well as larger clothing, home and electrical departmentsŠincluding an electrical advice desk.

Crewe mayor Cllr Roy Cartlidge added: “I’m delighted that Tesco has decided to expand its store in Crewe. I hope it brings another shopping experience for the people of Crewe and the surrounding area along with job security to Tesco employees.

“I’m impressed by the architecture of the new buildings, it’s quite magnificent – more like a railway building than a supermarket!”

Opening celebrations will continue on Saturday, January 21 between 11am and 4pm as the store will welcome another special guest – Peppa Pig.

The cartoon character will be the guest of honour at a free family fun day where shoppers will be treated to complimentary face painting as well as burgers and snacks from a barbecue.

The store is open from 12.01am on Mondays and remains open until midnight on Saturdays. It is open from 10am until 4pm on Sundays.

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Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson tells of his experience growing up with foster children

Crewe Chronicle

Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson grew up with foster children. He talked to reporter Belinda Ryan about his childhood and what he gained from the experience.

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson can’t really remember a time growing up when his parents’ home wasn’t full of foster children.

Mr Timpson was only five when his mum and dad, John and Alex, began fostering.

During the 30 years they acted as foster carers, they looked after nearly 90 children.

Mr Timpson says it was this positive experience which motivated him into practising family law and taking on the position of chairman of the all-party group on fostering and adoption.

“One of the things that really motivated me to do what I’m doing now is to try to help those children who find themselves in care, through no fault of their own, to get a better life and have a better chance to make something of themselves,” said the Conservative MP.

With more than 60,000 children in care, thousands of carers are needed up and down the country.

More than 1,200 extra foster carers need to be found across the north west of England in the next 12 months, according to the Fostering Network.

Mr Timpson still bumps into people who were fostered by his parents.

During last year’s election campaign he told how he met a man at a public meeting who was about seven years younger than himself who was fostered by his parents.

“When you talk to them and find out what they’re doing now and what they’ve made of their lives, it really hits home what my parents did and how much it’s played a part in these peoples’ lives,” said Mr Timpson.

The Tory MP admits his initial reaction when he discovered his parents had started fostering wasn’t as charitable as it might have been.

“I was nearly six and I came skipping home from school one day to find these two fairly loud children, aged five and three, downstairs in the kitchen,” he said. “As the youngest of three I was used to having my mother’s undivided attention and on finding I was to have to share her my reaction was to run upstairs in a huff, run into my bedroom, slam the door and refuse to come out until they left.”

His reaction didn’t last long.

“As I grew older I started to take on more of a caring role myself, helping to do late-night bottles, that sort of thing, and I could start to see what my parents were doing it for and it was quite rewarding,” he said.

“You could see the change in many of these children. They started to thrive under routine, their personalities came out and the resentment I had at the start just evaporated.”

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Crewe and Nantwich MP set to fight Gypsy site plans at council meeting

Crewe Chronicle

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson aims to scupper plans for a Gypsy camp in Coppenhall.

The Conservative MP is expected to clash with Tory-led Cheshire East Council when the matter is considered by its strategic planning board.

The council wants the Gypsy camp on a field at the junction of Parkers Road and Kent Lane.

It is unusual for MPs to address council committees but no date has yet been set for the planning board meeting. If Mr Timpson is unavoidably kept in London on affairs of State when it does come up, he will send a senior staff member to represent him and the views of his constituents.

The MP, who was with members of Crewe Against Travellers Sites (CATS) when they presented a 5,500 signature petition to Downing Street in November, said: “I’ve written to the chief executive and council leader to inform them that I, with members of CATs, presented a copy of the petition at 10 Downing Street.

“To ensure my support for my constituents is heard loud and clear, I intend to speak at the planning committee when the future of the site is determined.”

CATS has also presented the petition to Cheshire East.

CATS secretary Wendy Middleton said: “The number of signatures gathered in a short space of time shows the strength of feeling against this camp. Our aim is to trigger a full council debate on this ill-thought plan.”

CATS chairman, Glenn Perris, said: “Cheshire East are delaying because they say they are trying to get it right. ŠThat’s impossible as it’s fundamentally flawed in so many aspects.”

The group stresses it is a non-racist organisation and is fighting to find a site ‘fair’ to Travellers, residents and the council tax payers.

“How much more of our money are they prepared to waste until the application finally fails?

“We will win this campaign,” said Mr Perris.

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Councillor's Celebration raises funds for local good causes.

Birthday Party

Councillor Brian Silvester recently held a birthday celebration at Willaston Social Club. During the evening there was a  prize raffle and an 'Auction of Promises' which raised over £850 for local good causes, including  Willaston Pre School and the St. John's Parent and Toddler Group Willaston.

Cllr Silvester said," I am really grateful to all those who offered raffle prizes or auction promises or generally assisted in the organising of the event. We had a really enjoyable and entertaining evening and at the same time we raised a large amount for some of the local groups that do so much for our local community. It is always good to support local volunteers who give so freely of their time to help others.

Local singer Tim Gallagher, the winner of the local Star Quest competition 2008, entertained the guests and local Willaston Chippy, ' Mick the Chip' provided the fish and chips.

If there are local groups in my Ward of Willaston and Rope who are looking for a small match funding grant to assist in a project they should contact me."

Cheshire East vows to combat counterfeit trading

 

Rogue traders who use car boot sales to sell their shoddy wares are being targeted by Cheshire East Council as it looks to stamp out trading in counterfeit goods.

The action comes after two arrests were made at a car boot sale, near High Legh, earlier this month.

Now, the Council’s consumer protection and investigations team is warning people who think they can exploit the area’s legitimate trading events to sell counterfeit goods that it will not be tolerated.

Cheshire East Council and Cheshire police work together to combat such crime.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “The Council’s consumer protection and investigations team monitors all car boot sales held in Cheshire East. The vast majority of traders are law abiding but if any goods are found to be counterfeit, this Council will consider enforcement action.

“Many people may not be aware what they are buying at a car boot sale is counterfeit and could actually be harmful to health – especially alcohol, which may be contaminated with harmful substances.

“Members of the public may think they are getting a good deal buying a cheaper version of a particular product but these may not have gone through the proper, rigorous safety checks that protect the public.

“Cheshire East Council is determined to protect members of the public from harmful and counterfeit products by targeting unscrupulous traders wherever they operate.”

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Cheshire East proposes to freeze Council Tax bills

– despite austere economic times

The Leader of Cheshire East Council announced the Cabinet’s intention to freeze residents’ Council Tax bills for the second year running.

The decision comes despite the continued reductions in government grants, increasing cost pressures and potential changes to the Council’s funding arrangements.

Compared with the majority of English local authorities, Cheshire East Council will continue to provide good value for money, with low spending per head and a low reliance on government grants.

At a meeting of the Council’s ruling Conservative group, Cheshire East Leader Councillor Wesley Fitzgerald proposed to freeze the authority’s Council Tax – which would be facilitated by a grant of £4.5m from central government.

Councillor Michael Jones, Cheshire East Cabinet member for resources, said: “This Council is committed to continuing to provide great value for money to the people of Cheshire East and I believe that everyone should pay a fair amount for the services they receive, including residents of Crewe and Macclesfield.

“Crewe and Macclesfield are the only unparished areas in the whole of Cheshire East and in view of this the Council, as the lead authority, will be levying a special expense on these towns from April of next year (2013). These charges will cover those services which are being carried out by parish and town councils in other areas that are parished.

“It would be more desirable for these communities to have their own town councils in place so they can have representatives, appointed directly via the ballot box, to take responsibility for their local services and assets and help shape their future use more effectively.

“There is near universal understanding that parish and town councils can provide services best suited to their local communities to give optimum impact on the local environment.

“Due to the proposed Council Tax freeze for the coming year, and to address the costs of the non-parished areas of Crewe and Macclesfield, Cheshire East Council will pay a grant to all parish and town councils, proportionate to the number of average Band D households within individual parishes.

“This means it is proposed that the people of Cheshire East will see no increase in their Borough portion of their Council Tax bills due from this April. This is great news for the people of Cheshire East in these tough economic times.”

Willaston witness appeal

 

Police are appealing for witnesses following an incident outside Redsands Children Centre in Willaston.

At 9.45am on 9 Januray 2012, a 22 year old woman was driving her silvery blue Peugeot 206 towards Crewe when she possibly collided with a cyclist.

Crewe CID is appealing to anyone who may have seen cyclists in the area at that time and/or a collision involving the Peugeot 206 to contact them on 101 quoting incident number 214 of 9 January 2012. Information can also be given anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Cheshire East Council Draft Business Plan published today

 

Cheshire East Council Leader, Councillor Wesley Fitzgerald, has introduced the Council’s new-look Draft Business Plan today.

The Plan has moved away from the traditional route of reporting separately the Council’s budget for the coming year and its corporate priorities.

It now combines everything in one document to show clearly the Council’s ambitions and its available resources.

Councillor Fitzgerald said: “Despite the austere economic climate, the Plan outlines proposals for the next three years that support the Council’s determination to deliver the seven priorities identified in the Sustainable Community Strategy, ‘Ambition for All’.

“The Draft Business Plan is the culmination of months of extensive and intense work.  It has taken into account a number of key influencing factors and every line of the budget has been carefully scrutinised. It is clear that Cheshire East is facing a challenging year.

“The amount Cheshire East receives from Government is lower than the national average. As a result, the Council has £197 less to spend per resident, but still achieves value for money in providing excellent services for its residents.

“The Council collects Business Rates on behalf of the Government. However, once Central Government has taken its slice, the Council receives £59 less per head than residents in similar-sized authority areas.

“In spite of these challenging figures, the Council has produced a robust budget for 2012/13 which demonstrates clearly that we are working to achieve the ‘Ambition for All’ priorities.”

The key areas of work that are needed cover every aspect of the Council’s services, the communities it represents, including the business world and the need to continually improve and give value for money.

“Children and vulnerable people continue to be at the forefront of the Council’s improvement aims for the future and we have achieved significant steps forward in the standard of provision of children’s services as our inspection results indicate,” continued Councillor Fitzgerald.

“It is recognised that early intervention to help children and their families is the key to reducing the demand for in-house care. In the coming year, another £1.5million will be invested in prevention.

“The needs of older people provide the biggest call for resources. More and more people are turning to the Council for care needs as their own capital dwindles. With 12 new cases being referred every four weeks, the demand is outstripping the resources – and again Cheshire East receives one of the lowest Government grants for this service.

“Despite our huge recycling success, and average savings of around £100,000 (approximately £100 a tonne) a month in landfill charges, the substantial increases year-by-year in landfill tax means that we can never catch up.”

In working to the priorities, the Council has had to balance the need to reduce spending with the increasing demand on services.

In 2010, the Chancellor announced a 25 per cent cut in Government grants to councils over four years.

Councillor Fitzgerald added: “This reduction in grant, coupled with austerity measures have resulted in a requirement of £7million savings in 2012/13. However, when the significant increase in service demand, especially among children and vulnerable older people, is added, as well as inflation, the true savings need to be in excess of £20million. That’s 9 per cent of the base budget.

“For the second year, the Government has made a further grant of £4.5million with a requirement that Council Tax is frozen at the current level.”

The Draft Business Plan is available on the Council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/budget and will be available for comment until February 23. Meetings will be held with businesses, via the local Chamber of Commerce groups, trades unions and the Schools’ Forum.

If anyone has any comments on the Plan, please send them to shapingourservices@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Nantwich man sentenced for possession of drugs

 

A 40 year old man from Nantwich who had a cocktail of drugs and cultivated a cannabis farm at his home was sentenced on Monday 16 January 2012.

Back in July 2010 officers from Nantwich NPU raided Christopher Dale′s apartment in Lambert Crescent following a tip off.

In one bedroom officers found 11 cannabis plants growing in pots along with heaters, fans and fertilizer.

They also discovered a hoard of drugs including cocaine, heroin, Benzocaine, Stanozol and drug paraphanalia including syringes.

One of the scales seized by officers had traces of cocaine, benzocaine and caffeine, while a grey stone bowl a silver spoon had traces of cocaine and benzocaine.

The estimated street value of the drugs found at his flat was between £1400 to £2000.

More than £1,000 in cash was also seized on the day of the raid.

Dale was arrested and later released on police bail.

On 16 January 2012 Dale pleaded guilty to being concerned in the production of Class B drugs and two counts of possession of Class A and two counts of possession of Class C controlled drugs.

He was given a 9 months prison sentence suspended for two years.

PC Marc Harley said: "Thanks to information from the public we were able take off the streets more than £1,000 of drugs. Drugs are a blight on the community which we are committed to stamping out.

"With the help of the public we will keep on seizing drugs.

"Anyone concerned about drugs in their area should contact police on 101."

Would you like to get involved in local education?

 

Cheshire East Council is offering residents the opportunity join one of the Borough’s independent education appeals panels.

The panels oversee both admission and exclusion appeals. These are where families, or guardians, would like the panel to look again at the reasons their child was not accepted for a particular school, or excluded from a school respectively.

Each panel is made up of three members and they are independent of the local authority.

The Council wants to hear from people of all backgrounds, as panels are comprised of both people with educational experience and those who have not been involved with schools before.

Appeals are heard on weekdays during normal office hours and full training is given. The work is done on a voluntary basis, although travel expenses are paid.

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and family services, said: “We need to increase the number of members that sit on our panels. We would like as broad a cross section of people as possible.

“Ex-teachers and governors would be welcome, as would people who have never worked with schools before.

“The only requirement is that members have an interest in education and are able to spare some of their time.”

If you would like to find out more and receive an application form, please contact Brett Dainty on 01270 686469, or email brett.dainty@cheshireeast.gov.uk. The deadline for applications is Friday, February 17. 

Successful applicants would need to attend a training day on Monday, March 26. There will also be further training in July for the exclusion panels.

MP’s 108th news bulletin

Edward Timpson MP

Saturday 21, January 2012

Welcome ...

Welcome to this my 108th news bulletin and can I take this opportunity to wish you a happy New Year.

Health and safety at work is important, but should be proportionate. Many local businesses have raised the unnecessary time and financial burden of some health and safety measures with me. 

At the Federation of Small Businesses candidates debate during the general election campaign, there was a clear desire from members and candidates present to see common sense brought to the fore where health and safety is concerned.

The government is determined that we do everything possible to take the brakes off business: cutting taxes; slashing red tape; putting billions into big infrastructure projects; making it much easier for British firms to get out there and trade with the world.
And there is something else they are doing: waging war against the excessive health and safety culture that has become an albatross around the neck of British businesses.
Talk of ‘health and safety’ can too often sound farcical or marginal. But for British businesses - especially the smaller ones that are so vital to the future of our economy - this is a massively important issue. Every day they battle against a tide of risk assessment forms and face the fear of being sued for massive sums. The financial cost of this culture runs into the billions each year, so the measures we are taking include:
• Businesses no longer having to report minor accidents in the workplace. From 6 April, an accident will now only have to be reported if an employee is off work for seven days or more;
• Completely exempting from health and safety regulation up to a million self-employed workers whose activities pose no risk of harm to others. This will free them from bureaucracy and needless assessments;
• A new panel giving firms the right to challenge controversial inspection decisions; and
• The Health and Safety Executive abolishing or consolidating up to half of all existing regulations.
So the coalition has a clear New Year’s resolution: to kill off the health and safety culture for good. We want 2012 to go down in history not just as Olympics year or Diamond Jubilee year, but the year we get a lot of this pointless time-wasting out of the British economy and British life once and for all.

Please remember, you can always contact me directly if you have any questions for me.

You can forward the bulletin on to your friends and family, who can sign up themselves by clicking here for my website.

Best wishes 

Edward Timpson
Member of Parliament for Crewe & Nantwich

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I have recently ...

  • Opened the new Tesco supermarket in Crewe
  • Visited the Olympic Park with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Emergency Services to see the impressive progress of the construction and to hear about the emergency contigencies in place
  • Met with Business in the Community to hear about their campaign to support care leavers with their journey towards sustainable employment
  • Attended the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity launch of thier report Preventing Babies’ Deaths
  • Met with Heler Cheese to discuss how I can help to promote Cheshire cheese across the UK
  • Officically opened the new Orthopaedic Out-Patients and Fracture Clinic at Leighton Hospital
  • Accompanied Chris Grayling MP, Minister of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, on a visit to the Crewe JobCentre
  • Joined the Looking After the Homless (LATH) Group to dispense free soup and rolls in the Market Square, Crewe

This weekend I will be...

  • Inspecting the troops and laying a wreath at the Holly Holy Day for the 40th anniversary of commemorations
  • Attending a charity event for Cancer Research UK at the Koconut Grove

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Community News

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Support the Looking After the Homeless Group

The LATH Group (Looking After The Homeless) aims to ease the plight of the homeless in the Crewe area, with the long term aim of eliminating it altogether. The organisation is in dire need of donations, to help ease the lives of those that are homeless & many of whom are sleeping rough in these cold winter months.
To make a donation please click here - Please forward this link to your friends, your families & your colleagues, add the link to your Facebook & Twitter pages to help our cause and spread the word.
Your money will be used to feed, create warmth, clothe, and help shelter those who need it this winter.
Do you have community news to share? Email me and it could be here too!

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Grand opening of Crewe's Tesco Extra attracts scores of shoppers

Crewe Chronicle

HUNDREDS of shoppers descended on Crewe’s Tesco Extra store as it opened its doors for the first time on Monday.

The 64,000sq ft superstore, based on Vernon Way, replaces a smaller store on the same site and celebrated its grand opening by making a £1,000 donation to Crewe and Nantwich Gymnastics Club.

MP Edward Timpson and Crewe mayor Cllr Roy Cartlidge were guests of honour and helped store manager Natalie Salt cut the ribbon to declare the store officially open for business.

Eager shoppers who were keen to get their first look at the store were also treated to complimentary champagne, cake and orange juice.

Store manager Natalie Salt said: “It was great to see so many members of the local Crewe community joining in the celebrations with us.

“We really hope that as a store we will become a key part of the local community.”

Senior coach at Crewe and Nantwich Gymnastics Club Candy Lakin accepted a giant cheque from Natalie on behalf of the club. She said: “The club would like to thank Tesco for this generous donation. As a club we are always trying to raise money and are very grateful for donations such as this.

“Our roof currently needs repairing and the equipment we use for our gymnasts is very specialist and expensive, this donation will help to fix the roof and provide the latest equipment needed to aid our gymnast’s progress.”

The new store, which benefits from extended opening hours, offers customers a new phone shop, Tesco Direct desk and family café serving Costa coffee. In addition, the store has an extended food and counter range including an olive bar, fresh meat and fish counter as well as larger clothing, home and electrical departmentsŠincluding an electrical advice desk.

Crewe mayor Cllr Roy Cartlidge added: “I’m delighted that Tesco has decided to expand its store in Crewe. I hope it brings another shopping experience for the people of Crewe and the surrounding area along with job security to Tesco employees.

“I’m impressed by the architecture of the new buildings, it’s quite magnificent – more like a railway building than a supermarket!”

Opening celebrations will continue on Saturday, January 21 between 11am and 4pm as the store will welcome another special guest – Peppa Pig.

The cartoon character will be the guest of honour at a free family fun day where shoppers will be treated to complimentary face painting as well as burgers and snacks from a barbecue.

The store is open from 12.01am on Mondays and remains open until midnight on Saturdays. It is open from 10am until 4pm on Sundays.

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Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson tells of his experience growing up with foster children

Crewe Chronicle

Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson grew up with foster children. He talked to reporter Belinda Ryan about his childhood and what he gained from the experience.

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson can’t really remember a time growing up when his parents’ home wasn’t full of foster children.

Mr Timpson was only five when his mum and dad, John and Alex, began fostering.

During the 30 years they acted as foster carers, they looked after nearly 90 children.

Mr Timpson says it was this positive experience which motivated him into practising family law and taking on the position of chairman of the all-party group on fostering and adoption.

“One of the things that really motivated me to do what I’m doing now is to try to help those children who find themselves in care, through no fault of their own, to get a better life and have a better chance to make something of themselves,” said the Conservative MP.

With more than 60,000 children in care, thousands of carers are needed up and down the country.

More than 1,200 extra foster carers need to be found across the north west of England in the next 12 months, according to the Fostering Network.

Mr Timpson still bumps into people who were fostered by his parents.

During last year’s election campaign he told how he met a man at a public meeting who was about seven years younger than himself who was fostered by his parents.

“When you talk to them and find out what they’re doing now and what they’ve made of their lives, it really hits home what my parents did and how much it’s played a part in these peoples’ lives,” said Mr Timpson.

The Tory MP admits his initial reaction when he discovered his parents had started fostering wasn’t as charitable as it might have been.

“I was nearly six and I came skipping home from school one day to find these two fairly loud children, aged five and three, downstairs in the kitchen,” he said. “As the youngest of three I was used to having my mother’s undivided attention and on finding I was to have to share her my reaction was to run upstairs in a huff, run into my bedroom, slam the door and refuse to come out until they left.”

His reaction didn’t last long.

“As I grew older I started to take on more of a caring role myself, helping to do late-night bottles, that sort of thing, and I could start to see what my parents were doing it for and it was quite rewarding,” he said.

“You could see the change in many of these children. They started to thrive under routine, their personalities came out and the resentment I had at the start just evaporated.”

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Crewe and Nantwich MP set to fight Gypsy site plans at council meeting

Crewe Chronicle

CREWE and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson aims to scupper plans for a Gypsy camp in Coppenhall.

The Conservative MP is expected to clash with Tory-led Cheshire East Council when the matter is considered by its strategic planning board.

The council wants the Gypsy camp on a field at the junction of Parkers Road and Kent Lane.

It is unusual for MPs to address council committees but no date has yet been set for the planning board meeting. If Mr Timpson is unavoidably kept in London on affairs of State when it does come up, he will send a senior staff member to represent him and the views of his constituents.

The MP, who was with members of Crewe Against Travellers Sites (CATS) when they presented a 5,500 signature petition to Downing Street in November, said: “I’ve written to the chief executive and council leader to inform them that I, with members of CATs, presented a copy of the petition at 10 Downing Street.

“To ensure my support for my constituents is heard loud and clear, I intend to speak at the planning committee when the future of the site is determined.”

CATS has also presented the petition to Cheshire East.

CATS secretary Wendy Middleton said: “The number of signatures gathered in a short space of time shows the strength of feeling against this camp. Our aim is to trigger a full council debate on this ill-thought plan.”

CATS chairman, Glenn Perris, said: “Cheshire East are delaying because they say they are trying to get it right. ŠThat’s impossible as it’s fundamentally flawed in so many aspects.”

The group stresses it is a non-racist organisation and is fighting to find a site ‘fair’ to Travellers, residents and the council tax payers.

“How much more of our money are they prepared to waste until the application finally fails?

“We will win this campaign,” said Mr Perris.

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5 ways to contact Edward Timpson

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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Impressive Teamwork on Motorway Safety

 

Safety checks on lorries using the M6 in Cheshire are a first-class example of inter-agency teamwork, says Cheshire Police Authority.

Five members of the Authority visited the site beside the motorway at Sandbach which is shared by the Cheshire Police Commercial Vehicle Unit, the Highways Agency, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and Customs Officers.

Work carried out there includes checks on lorry drivers′ working hours, tests on lorry brakes, tyres and other possible safety issues, measuring the weight of vehicles and loads and checks for illegal fuel use.

Adrian Walmsley, Vice Chairman of the Authority said, "We were really impressed by the way the different agencies pull together. The purpose of the work here is to keep the motorway safe for all the people who use it. These officers never lose sight of that."

People of Crewe to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to a town council

 

Crewe people will soon be faced with the direct question – ‘do you want a single town council?’

Cheshire East Council launched a governance review for Crewe in August 2011 and has canvassed views on a host of potential options as the town’s people consider whether a more local layer of representation is for them.

And after the first wave of consultation was completed, early indications show there is a significant level of support for a single town council.

Now, a ballot paper is being formulated which will include the wording ‘Do you want a single town council for Crewe – Yes/No’. This will be sent to voters in February.

Councillor Wesley Fitzgerald, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank respondents for their feedback so far. Early indications show that a town council is the preferred option, although there is still time to make your views known as the consultation remains open.

“I would strongly encourage people living in Crewe and those with an interest in the town to continue to make their views known and to vote.

“This authority is always open to ways to give the people of Cheshire East more choice and control over services and resources and we will ensure whatever final decision is taken reflects the wishes of the people of Crewe.”

Cheshire East councillors are currently the only democratically-elected members who represent the views of Crewe people.

Every other area in Cheshire East, with the exception of Macclesfield, has local representation in the form of a town or parish council.

Now, residents in Crewe have the opportunity to decide if they want more local and focussed management through the form of a town council.

More information on other options for localised governance, in addition to a town council, with a breakdown of the facts on each, is available at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/crewegovreview

There is also an online tool designed to assist anyone who would like to know which option best suits their views. This tool can also be used to submit feedback and views to the Council.

Alternatively, residents can email communitygovernancereview@cheshireeast.gov.uk or write to Registration Service and Business Manager, Democratic Services, Cheshire East Council, Westfields, Sandbach, Cheshire, CW11 1HZ.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Untouchable Crewe gang finally behind bars

Andrew ArrowsmithBobby PalinNigel DunnShane Arrowsmith

A Crewe gang, once seen as untouchable, were turning drug cash into gold are paying the price for their illegal activities after they were sentenced to a combined total of 11 years and eight months.

Since September 2010 Cheshire Police detectives have been investigating the activities of an organised crime group led by Bobby Palin (24) previously of Smith Grove in Crewe. It was believed that they were supplying class A & B drugs into the Crewe community.

Following a lengthy investigation, officers discovered that the group had been travelling to the heart of Birmingham′s jewellery quarter to buy gold bars for cash earned through dealing illegal drugs on the streets of Crewe.

As the investigation went on it was clear they were going to the same jewellers in Birmingham′s jewellery quarter to launder between £7,000 and £14,000 a time by buying fine gold ingots.

Officers intercepted the gang twice after they visited the shop, on both occasions the gang had converted fine gold ingots into large amounts of cash.

When they were stopped by police on the M6 on 4 April 2011, Bobby Palin was in the car with Andrew Arrowsmith & Shane Arrowsmith. They had been to Birmingham to exchange two gold bars valued at £13,900. They were arrested, the cash was seized and the men were later charged with money laundering offences.

The following day officers observed one of the gang members, Carl Arrowsmith, (29), going back down to Birmingham with four gold bars valued at £27,650 . He was caught in the back yard of the shop, arrested and the cash was seized. He was later charged with money laundering.

At the beginning of the operation the gang converted cash by buying fine gold ingots, towards the end of the operation the gang started selling the gold ingots back to the jewellers for cash.

On 13 July 2011 officers conducted a coordinated dawn raid on five separate addresses in Crewe. They arrested Bobby Palin (24), Shane Arrowsmith (30), Nigel Dunn (33), Andrew Arrowsmith (31), Carl Arrowsmith (29) and Kenneth Washington (42).

They were subsequently charged with offences including money laundering and class A drug offences.

In all, a total of £62,365 was converted into 2.25 kilos of fine gold.

The total amount seized to date off the gang is £42,062.67 in cash but a financial investigation into their assets is currently underway to track down and seize any further money obtained through their illegal exploits.

On 30 September 2011 at Chester Crown Court Shane Arrowsmith from Richard Moon Street, Crewe pleaded guilty to money laundering, Nigel Dunn from Samuel Street, Crewe pleaded guilty to supplying Class A drugs and Andrew Arrowsmith from Beckford Close, Crewe pleaded guilty to possession of Class A drugs and money laundering.

On 9th December at Liverpool Crown Court Bobby Palin pleaded guilty to money laundering, Carl Arrowsmith from Badger Ave pleaded guilty to acquiring criminal property namely cash in relation to the proceeds of crime act and Kenneth Washington from Enderleigh St, Newcastle Under Lyne pleaded guilty to acquiring criminal property namely cash in relation to the proceeds of crime act.

On 19 January 2012 Bobby Palin was sentenced to three years and four months, Shane arrowsmith was sentenced to three years and four months, Nigel Dunn was sentenced to three years and four months, and Andrew Arrowsmith was sentenced to one year and eight months.

Carl Arrowsmith was sentenced to 140 hours community service and Kenneth Washington was sentenced to 120 hours community service order.

DC Gareth Wynne said: "The officers involved in the case spent 18 months gathering enough evidence to convict the gang. The gang, headed by Palin were seen to be out of the reach of the police by certain areas of the community. Our hard work has finally paid off and Crewe residents will see a gang of men who have been a blight on the community behind bars. This investigation has struck at the heart of this group by removing the hierarchy who organise the drug supply and reap the benefits from the profits generated.

"This shows that we will do everything we can to make Cheshire a safer place and sends out a clear message to those who think they are above the law that we will bring you to justice."

Dedicated funding for Diamond Jubilee

 

Dedicated funding of £100 per community group is being offered to help create a party atmosphere for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations this summer.

Cheshire East Council is setting the scene for a summer of fun after the newly-formed Cheshire Community Foundation received a donation from the Duke of Westminster’s charitable fund, the Westminster Foundation, which will be distributed to Cheshire East communities on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis.

The Diamond Jubilee celebrations will take place across an extended bank holiday weekend between June 2 and 5.

Just a couple of days before the royal celebrations, the party atmosphere will hot up as the London Olympic torch relay passes through Crewe, Congleton, Knutsford and Macclesfield.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “This is going to be one of the most memorable weekends of our time and so it’s a wonderful opportunity to have a party.

“This is such a momentous occasion and we are delighted to offer community groups the chance to apply for £100 of funding to celebrate in their community.

“We are very grateful to the Duke of Westminster for his donation and we would encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of this opportunity to celebrate and throw a street party or use their local park or playing fields to host an event.”

To apply for the £100 funding, community groups should log on to: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/jubilee and click on the event notification/funding form. The deadline to apply for funding and road closures is Monday, April 9. Alternatively, contact Jane Kavanagh on 01270 685854.

Buckingham Palace is encouraging communities to take part in ‘The Big Jubilee Lunch’ which is all about community, friendship and fun and offers ideas on what to do and how to make it a day to remember. For more information log on to: www.thebiglunch.com

Nantwich Police Station goes Green

 

NANTWICH police station has gone green, with the introduction of a new solar panel system which means it gets most of its energy from the sun.

The computers, CCTV system, and even small electric items are all now powered directly from the sun, cutting emissions and reducing bills.

Nantwich is thought to be the first police station in the North West to take advantage of the new technology. Middlewich will soon follow suit.

Police Authority members Michael Darby and Peter Nurse took time to visit the police station to find out more and were shown around by project lead Keith Cozens.

Keith said: "We started the project back in June but had to apply for planning permission to fit the panels to the roof of the building.

"The panels at Nantwich and Middlewich were to trial the system − now we know it is working we are hoping to roll it out to seven more Constabulary buildings across Cheshire. The idea is to save money and reduce carbon emissions."

Keith explained that using solar power doesn′t rely on blisteringly hot sunny days. "The panels don′t need sunlight, they just need daylight. Even on a cloudy day they still get what they need to power the building."

The panels at Nantwich cost around £11,000 to install and were funded via the North West Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (NWIEP). It is expected that the panels will have paid for themselves with five years.

Gillian Bishop, Chief Executive of NWIEP said: "NWIEP has been keen to support innovative projects that not only deliver efficiencies for the public sector but also generate data and evidence that others considering similar projects can learn from. We felt that Operation Greenhouse fitted well with our wider work supporting better asset management in the sector across the North West."

Michael Darby is the Police Authority member responsible for looking at carbon management issues within the Force. He said: "The Authority has supported the initiative since we first heard about it. It′s a great way to improve the Constabulary′s green credentials and save money."

Mayor backs Tatton run

 

 

The Mayor of Cheshire East is urging people to put their best foot forward and run for charity in the forthcoming Tatton Park run.

The 10k run has been organised by Age UK to raise funds for the charity’s ‘Spread the Warmth’ campaign, to keep older people warm and well.

Interested participants are being urged to log on to www.ageuk.org.uk/10k or telephone 0800 169 8787. Elect to run for Age UK Cheshire East to ensure all money raised goes to help local older people.

The Mayor Councillor Roger West has chosen Age UK Cheshire East as his principle charity and supports the organisation’s on-going campaigns.

He said: “This is a great opportunity to start training and get fit for the race which takes place in less than three months time.

“Not only will it help people shake off the post Christmas calories, it will raise much-needed funds for older people who often struggle to keep warm in the cold weather.”

Madelyn Bridge, Chief Executive of Age UK Cheshire East, joined the Mayor in his quest for runners.

She said: “Many older people are terrified to use their heating for fear of rising costs. It only takes the temperature to drop a few degrees for them to be in real danger.

“By registering to run for Age UK Cheshire East at the Tatton Park ‘Wrap-up and Run 10k’ you will help an older person to keep warm and stay healthy this winter.”

The run takes place on March 11 and entries are being taken now. To help runners prepare, the Council’s leisure development team will be running a series of fitness and running camps at leisure centres.

For more details see www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/sport or look out for updates on the Twitter feed @cecchamp or Facebook www.facebook.com/cecchamp

Scheme to reduce re-offending a great success

 

A scheme to tackle Cheshire′s most prolific and repeat offenders continues to prove successful in reducing the re-offending rates of the county′s worst burglars, car thieves, and street and metal-theft criminals.

The NAVIGATE scheme brings together key partners, all of whom are focused on reducing re-offending throughout Cheshire.

Police, probation, youth offending teams, employment, health, housing and drug and alcohol agencies, work in partnership with offenders so as to change their behaviour and lifestyle for the good. That can mean giving offenders opportunities to get help with any addiction, finding them a decent place to live and accessing pathways into education, training or employment,

With official government figures showing that a handful of prolific and repeat offenders can sometimes be responsible for up to 30% of an area′s crimes, it is easy to see why the Home Office′s Integrated Offender Management (IOM) Programme, of which NAVIGATE is part, is so important and beneficial to communities.

Cheshire Police Assistant Chief Constable, Ruth Purdie, said: "NAVIGATE provides a local framework for agencies to come together to ensure that the offenders whose crime causes most damage locally are managed in a co-ordinated way, bringing greater coherence to the delivery of relevant local programmes and approaches to tackle crime, reducing re-offending and protecting communities."

Inspector Brian Green, who helps run NAVIGATE in Western Cheshire, admits he was initially sceptical of the ideals behind the scheme, but that seeing the difference it makes he has changed his original view.

He said: "I never really bothered to understand the science behind why people offend or how we can work differently with them to improve their chances of success in life by reducing their re-offending.

"My attitude was focused on what I wanted as a Police Officer and a tax payer with regards to how criminals should be treated, rather than looking at the bigger picture."

After having what he describes as a, "real education," about NAVIGATE however, Brian now sees the work it and its partners do as not only immeasurably significant, but also grossly underestimated.

He said: "A massive amount of time, effort and dedication is put in by all the agencies involved. They help deliver success on aspects of policing that are often immeasurable; these don′t result in high profile arrests or long prison sentences, but what the staff do achieve is keeping the most prolific offenders on the right tracks wherever possible. This not only protects the public through reductions in crime but also reduces demand at a time when all partnership agencies need to work within the constraints of reduced budgets."

As well as proving successful in reducing the offending rates for both prolific and repeat offenders, NAVIGATE also aims to tackle the social exclusion of offenders and their families and improve public confidence in the criminal justice system, with offenders who choose not to participate placed under close scrutiny.

Andy Griffiths of the Youth Offending Service said that those who choose not to participate open themselves up to being robustly and proactively targeted by all the NAVIGATE agencies involved. This means very close supervision and several planned, and unplanned, visits a week and poor engagement with the NAVIGATE scheme is dealt with as a priority.

This combined intelligence gathering approach by the police, Probation and Youth Offending Service is of paramount importance to the scheme as it allows police officers to intervene when someone is suspected of being criminally active. Under the initiative, surveillance and supervision are also increased.

When intelligence informs one of the services that an offender might be active again, probation or police officers visit the suspect′s home and warn them that they are heading for court if they do not change their behaviour.

For those who co-operate with the scheme however, the advantages are numerous and, in many ways, life-changing.

Sergeant Steve Hilton-Smith from Warrington said: "The key for a lot of the people we approach and work with on the NAVIGATE scheme is persistence. As you would perhaps expect, initially some offenders are sceptical and wary of police intervention. It`s a slow process but it does work. By looking at root causes and the recognised pathways to re-offending we can break the offending cycle."

Defibrillator units donated to Cheshire East Council

 

A host of Cheshire East Council’s leisure centres and swimming pools will benefit from a welcome donation from the ambulance service.

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has handed 19 AED (automated external defibrillator) units to the Council, which will be on hand should any medical emergencies arise in its buildings.

Cheshire East already has defibrillators at its Westfields headquarters in Sandbach and at Tatton Park, Knutsford, and its health and safety team will take responsibility for all of them.

In addition to leisure facilities, the units will also be housed in Delamere House, Crewe; Dalton House, Middlewich and at Macclesfield Town Hall.

Councillor Peter Mason, Cabinet member with responsibility for procurement and shared services, said: “I very much welcome this donation from the ambulance service. Defibrillators are an essential tool in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac episodes.

“Our health and safety team has placed them in buildings where there is higher footfall and also where cardiac rehabilitation programmes are already running.

“We have staff members based in these buildings who are trained in the use of this equipment and will be on hand to treat any patients in the event of emergency.”

Defibrillators can save lives by providing an electric shock through the chest wall to restart the heart, in some cases of cardiac arrest.

When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, they lose consciousness almost at once. There are no other signs of life such as normal breathing. 

Community resuscitation manager at NWAS, Rob Hussey said: “None of us know who will suffer a cardiac arrest or when it will happen. What we do know is that when such a life threatening situation occurs, a speedy response is crucial.

“Defibrillation within the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest can dramatically increase the survival chances of the victim and prevent long term damage to vital organs.

“We would like to see defibrillators in as many places as possible and therefore, we are very pleased to be working with Cheshire East Council to equip their leisure centres with life-saving equipment.

“Hopefully, they’ll never need to use the defibrillators, but the public should be assured that there are people who know how to help should the most extreme emergency occur.”

To benefit from the equipment are leisure centres at Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Congleton, Knutsford, Alsager, Sandbach, Poynton, Shavington, Holmes Chapel, Middlewich and Sir William Stanier High School in Crewe. Some of these centres also have swimming pools and some are connected with high schools.

Nantwich Pool and Fitness Centre, Barony Park in Nantwich, Crewe Pool and the Oakley Centre and Cumberland Arena, Crewe, will also receive one.

Think it Through, Warns Chairman

 

The Chairman of Cheshire Police Authority has warned young people who drink and drive, "Think about the long-term effect on your own life!"

Margaret Ollerenshaw says, "Even if you avoid injuring yourself and other people, the results of a drink-driving conviction will stay with you for years."

She was speaking in the wake of figures for the Cheshire Police area over the Christmas and New Year holiday which showed 26 per cent of drivers arrested for drink and drug driving were aged under 25 and 39 per cent were under 30 years old.

She said, "With many years experience as a magistrate and my contact with policing in my present role, I have had a close-up view of the consequences of drink −driving.

"If the possibility of causing death or injury to other people and to yourself isn′t enough to stop you, you should consider the effects a drink-drive conviction would have on your life.

"As well as a probable fine of hundreds of pounds, you will face a huge increase in your car insurance costs when the time comes to get back on the road.

"In the meantime, you face a mandatory driving ban of at least 12 months. You may be banned for considerably longer. If your job involves driving or if you have to use a car to get to work, that obviously puts your employment in jeopardy. Even if you keep your job, your social and private life will suffer because you will not be able to see friends and relatives as easily. If you have children you will not be able to drive them to school. Everyday chores such as shopping will suddenly become a lot more difficult.

"These are the type of lifestyle changes which put real strains on personal relationships.

"The situation can be even more serious. If you are substantially over the alcohol limit when you are arrested you will probably be looking at a three-year driving ban and a fine of between a thousand and five thousand pounds. The magistrates may consider a community order with a curfew. You may even go to prison for up to six months.

"There are still worse scenarios. If your drink, or drug, impaired driving caused a collision which results in someone′s death the maximum penalty is a fourteen year prison sentence.

"The drink-drive figures over the Christmas and New Year period seem to indicate that while most people understand that drink and drugs don′t mix with driving, some younger drivers are just not getting the message. That is a disappointing trend.

"If everyone gives the consequences some serious thought the picture should change drastically."

Two Generations get Drink-Drive Warning

 

Police in Cheshire have said they are "seriously concerned" about the number of young and elderly drivers who ignore warnings about drinking.

Figures just released show that during the Christmas campaign to stop drivers drinking or taking drugs, more than a quarter of the people arrested were under 25 years old. Thirty nine per cent were under thirty.

At the other end of the age range, eighteen per cent of the drivers arrested were aged fifty or over.

Assistant Chief Constable Ruth Purdie said, "The figures are very similar to those for the previous year and they are disturbing.

"We consistently highlight the fact that drinking alcohol or drug- taking do not mix with driving. Our enforcement measures are very high profile, especially over Christmas. It seems some younger drivers are still not getting the message and some older drivers have lost sight of lessons they may have learned years ago.

"Over the Christmas and New Year period, some had risked having a couple of drinks and were surprised to find they were over the limit. Others felt they would be O.K. because they had had something to eat as well as a few drinks.

"In fact, just one drink impairs your ability to react quickly and efficiently to situations which develop. The only safe way to approach this issue is not to drink at all if you intend to drive.

"Some drivers felt having a few drinks was all right because they were only travelling a short distance. That is a completely misguided approach. If you are behind the wheel and you have been drinking or taking drugs you are a danger to yourself and everyone else, whatever length your journey may be.

"Over the Christmas period 181 drivers were arrested for drink-drive or drug-drive offences in the Cheshire Police area. They will now face the consequences of what they did.

"The enforcement action is an important part of keeping the roads safe. Drivers should be aware that it will continue throughout 2012."

Friday, 20 January 2012

Crime statistics show Cheshire continues to be a safer place to live

 

Cheshire continues to be a safer place to live as crime once again falls across the county.
Burglary in particular has seen a significant drop which is good news for homeowners and businesses. There were 794 fewer victims (17 percent drop) according to statistics published today, Thursday 19 January 2011, which reflect the 12 months up to September 2011.
There has been 5283 fewer victims of crime overall compared to the previous year (eight percent drop).
Violence against the person is down 14 percent with 1828 fewer victims and despite a four percent rise across England and Wales, Cheshire has seen a 14 percent drop in robbery offences. There were also fewer victims of car crime (down 14 percent), criminal damage (down 11 percent) and sexual offences (down nine percent).
Commenting on the statistics, Assistant Chief Constable Ruth Purdie says, "I hope the communities of Cheshire are pleased to see that crime continues to fall across the county but it is important that they know that we will never become complacent and it is vital that people actually feel safe and confident in the police.
"Working with our partner agencies we will continue to ensure that victims are given the help and support they need and we strive towards our ultimate aim of reducing re-offending. Although it remains an encouraging picture for Cheshire, there is always work to be done and we welcome feedback from the public in order to understand what is important to them and how we can improve.
"There are still more challenging times ahead for the police service and we are committed to delivering the best possible service for the communities of Cheshire while identifying areas where we can work more efficiently and effectively."
The number of people who feel the police are dealing with local concerns has remained consistent at 56 percent and 58 percent of people also feel the police and local councils are dealing with issues, which is an increase of 2 percent.
Drug offences are the only area where the constabulary has seen an increase (four percent) but this is a reflection of the proactive activity across the Force targeting those involved in drug use and supply. The public are also more confident and in providing information to the police so we can take action against the criminals ruining their communities.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Police advise Land Rover owners to be vigilant following thefts

 

Cheshire Police are asking Land Rover owners to be vigilant after a spate of thefts across Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Warrington and Runcorn.

Eight Land Rovers were stolen from Wilmsow and Macclesfield since the beginning of December.

Warrington and Runcorn had two Land Rover Defenders stolen during the same period.

While officers are making stop checks on Land Rovers to ensure they belong to the driver, and the thefts are being investigated, police are urging people to take basic crime prevention steps.

PC Mike Dawber who specialises in rural crime said: "We would urge those with Land Rovers to keep their vehicles behind locked farm gates at night. Security lights and CCTV is also advisable to provide a deterrent to would-be thieves.

"Most of the old style vehicles have been stolen without keys, so as a precaution it is worth investing in the old style ‘crook lock′ or ‘steering wheel anti-theft bar′ to improve vehicle security."

PC Dawber added: "Those tempted to buy nearly new Land Rover parts at knock down prices should be wary, especially if its on a ‘no questions asked′ basis. Simply refusing to buy the parts will help to reduce demand, and in turn, thefts.

Anyone with information should contact PC Mike Dawber on 101.

Information can also be given anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Tesco 24 hour store opens

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There were stampedes at the new Tesco store today as it opens it door with a brand new 24 hours store. Will other store now open 24 hours? being  anew store its bright and plenty of room all spick and span

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The store has everything under one roof from phones. pc’s. tv,cafe Tesco direct and more

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They even have a pound store for those real bargains. To get into the store you have a fun ride up the travelatore

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Monday, 16 January 2012

Derby Docks get a hair cut

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The Derby Dock has had bushes all over for along time but now the council have ripped them out leaving only  a few trees standing. One of the problems has been people going into the dense bushes drinking with often as many as 20 people in there the police can not see any one from the road. With all the bushes gone there will be no where left to hide. having had the bushes for so long were do all the wildlife go who have made it their home? The light in the picture is the one that has been out for months and we are still waiting for the council to put it back on over a month since it was reported

Church Demolished

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The Church on Hightown Crewe has be knocked down so yet another church bits the dust. Its a church that hasnt that long been built compared with most others

Police urge motorists to heed security advice in cold weather

 

As the county sees its first cold snap of the winter, Cheshire Police are urging the public to help combat a crime trend associated with the cold weather.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Smith said "Thieves seize the opportunity of the cold weather to steal cars. The arrival of cold winter mornings normally brings a series of de-frosting type thefts. Thieves target cars which have been left with their engines running to defrost the windscreens. Just this morning, a Toyota was stolen in these circumstances in Widnes by criminals seizing their opportunity to drive away in cars left on driveways with the keys in the ignition"

The message from Cheshire Police is simple - Never leave keys in the ignition and doors unlocked when your car is unattended, even if it is only for a couple of minutes and the vehicle is sitting on your own driveway or on the road outside your house. Similarly, we urge drivers to be sensible and defrost their screens before moving off, because driving with only a few inches of the windscreen clear is dangerous.

The consequences of losing your car in this way could be more far reaching than most people realise.

Detective Chief Inspector Smith added "The sensible approach is to allow an extra few minutes to defrost your car and do not leave it unattended. When making an insurance claim in a situation where a driver has left a vehicle insecure, insurers may argue that a reasonable duty of care has not been taken. Victims are then faced with the loss of their vehicle with potenitally no means of replacement, even though they are fully insured."

Choose Your Option on Tax for Policing

 

People in Cheshire are being asked for their views on police spending for the coming financial year.

On the Cheshire Police Authority website they are being invited to choose between three possible courses of action which face the Authority as members consider the budget for 2012/13.

The Chairman of the Authority, Margaret Ollerenshaw, said, "These choices result from the terms attached to an additional grant which the Coalition Government is offering Police Authorities. If we accept the grant we will freeze the police part of the council tax for the coming year. But the grant only applies to 2012/13, so there will be consequences for the following year.

"Which route we decide to take will obviously affect people′s pockets. So, we want to know what the council taxpayers think."

One possibility is to freeze the policing part of the council tax for 2012/13 but cut the policing budget for the following year (2013/14) by £1.6 million more than the cuts already set by the Coalition Government.

Another is to freeze the council tax for 2012/13 and introduce a six per cent increase in April 2013. If the government does not allow such a large increase a compromise involving a smaller increase and substantial budget cuts would be necessary.

The third course is to raise the policing part of the council tax in 2012/13 by up to four per cent, which is equivalent to £5.76 per year or 11 pence a week on a Band D home.

Margaret Ollerenshaw said, "We have added this question to our budget consultation survey on the website. It seemed a sensible way to gauge public opinion on the council tax question and we will take into account what people tell us when we set next year′s budget.

"The budget consultation also invites people to choose between options for making savings in various aspects of policing.

"We are determined to maintain or improve the policing service in Cheshire but we have to make large-scale savings set by the Government.

"Hundreds of people have already visited the Authority and Constabulary′s road shows in town centres across Cheshire. They have given us their views by using an interactive video booth or by filling in a written questionnaire.

"We have a lot of important decisions to make and when we make them we want to have a very clear idea of what local people think."

To give your views on the choices facing Cheshire Police Authority, go to http://www.cheshirepa.police.uk

Schoolchildren grinning like a Cheshire East cat

1. School meal mascot

Animals are normally banned from kitchens, but there could be an exception made for the new school meals mascot in Cheshire East.

A competition was recently held where schools across the Borough were asked to come up with a name for the new mascot, a large cat.

The winning entry came from Woodcock Wells Primary School in Mow Cop. Pupils came up with the name CECil – ‘Cheshire East Council incredible meals’.

The new mascot will be the ‘face’ of the service, championing school meals and the importance of healthy eating.

CECil will be used to raise the profile of the great range of low-cost, balanced school meals and snacks available.

The mascot recently visited Woodcock Wells to present the school with their prize – £200 to go towards cookery or gardening equipment.

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and family services, said: “January is the time of year when many people take stock and make resolutions to eat more healthily.

“We are encouraging schoolchildren across Cheshire East to do the same. Apart from being good for their health, there is also strong evidence that a balanced diet can aid concentration levels in the classroom.

“I would like to congratulate the pupils from Woodcock Wells for choosing the winning name.”